A group of young Somali migrant girls housed in a government-run detention center in Libya have accused the guards at the facility of sexual assault. The teenage girls were rescued in February this year by Libyan security forces and have been in custody at the Shara al-Zawiya center located in Tripoli. In April, one of the girls came forward and told the media that she had been raped by a guard.

According to the Associated Press, the 17-year-old girl whose identity has been kept anonymous, had already suffered at the hands of human traffickers who abducted her, kept her imprisoned and sexually assaulted her in the past two years prior to her rescue.

After the eight teenage girls were rescued, they were brought to the Shara al-Zawiya facility. Four of the girls were later released but the reasons for this are still unclear. The teens are the only migrants being kept at Shara al-Zawiya, which only houses migrants for only short periods while they are being processed.

UN agencies and rights groups say that while human smugglers and traffickers in Libya have long been notorious for torturing migrants, abuse has also been reported in DCIM-run facilities. Vincent Cochetel, the UNHCR’s special envoy for the Central Mediterranean said there are have documented cases of rape in both DCIM detention and prisons for traffickers, with some even getting impregnated by guards and giving birth during detention.

The 17-year-old girl said the sexual assaults against her have continued, however, now it is committed by guards at the rescue facility. She claims that she and four other Somali teenagers are undergoing similar abuses and are pleading to be released from the Shara al-Zawiya center.

The abuse occurred one night in April, just around midnight, when she asked a guard to let her use the toilet. When she had finished, the guard allegedly attacked her and grabbed her. He assaulted her while she cried and pleaded for him to get off her. When he was done, the guard ordered her to clean her clothes and returned her to her cell.